State

On the Cusp of a Legislative Shakeup
On the Cusp of a Legislative Shakeup

With 11 House and two Senate lawmakers already announcing they are not seeking re-election to their current positions, more are expected once the redistricting process concludes, setting the stage for a potential shakeup in the 2022 election cycle.

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Useless Acts

Two weeks ago the Office of the Attorney General of Texas weighed in on the recent controversy regarding the speakership of the Texas House. For 99.99 percent of Texans, that issue is about as exciting as watching the grass turn brown. But in the course of the ruling, the AG’s office offered an interesting note. The ruling states, “We presume that the Legislature never does a useless act.” You can almost hear the laughter, can’t you?

Howdy

Texas is the fastest growing state in the Union. According to the U.S. Census bureau, the Lone Star State’s population now exceeds 23.9 million — adding 500,000 people in just 12 months. Of course, you can expect the liberals to use our growth as yet another excuse to increase taxes and grow government.

How To Waste A Million: Purchase, Then Test

If you’ve ever wanted to waste a million dollars, you should leave it to the experts at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. They spent $1 million on 3,500 GPS devices and specialized software… only to drop them into storage after finding the system didn’t meet their needs. And it’s a liberal Democrat whose calling them out for their waste.

A Chance For Smokin’-Hot Pork

Anti-smoking groups are ready to start cashing bigger government paychecks. Already funded by taxpayers with dubious success, the various groups are salivating over reports that the state’s new $1-per-pack cigarette tax hasn’t reduced smoking — because they want in on the action.

The state is generating $244 million more from the tax than had been anticipated.

Bottom-Feeder Bail-Out

According to Wikipedia, catfish "feed on algae, fish scales, mucus, carrion, insects" — and now, thanks to the Texas Department of Agriculture, your tax dollars. Catfish farmers can get up to $80,000 in bail-out money from the TDA if they suffered "feed losses" during presidentially-declared emergencies between January 2, 2005, through February 27, 2007. Must have been some disaster to cause a shortage of algae, mucus and carrion… This program is courtesy of the state’s Catfish Feed Grant Program. The jokes about bottom-feeders just write themselves.

Red-Light Tricks

Cities across the state are rushing to install red-light cameras as a way to make money, er, catch offenders. An investigation is underway in Richland Hills, suggesting the “yellow” warning light has been shortened, so more people will get caught running the red-light. But such trickery could also be costing people their lives.

Planning for Waste and Inefficiency?

A report issued by the Texas Education Agency says the premier pre-Kindergarten program in Texas is a waste of money, has failed to accomplish its goals, and has too little oversight. So what is the TEA’s response to the Dallas Morning News? The program has met the agency’s expectations. Is that supposed to be humorously ironic, or fiscally scary?

Jump in Sales Tax Collections Shows Need for Refund Mechanism

Texas sales tax receipts increase of 9.5 percent in November over last year highlights the need for a mechanism whereby sales, property or other taxes would automatically be cut as money floods in.  Think of it – how many of the foreclosures engulfing Texas families could be avoided if property taxes were proportionally and immediately reduced.

Was Bush A Fiscal Conservative? Stop Laughing…

The media has had a field day with Gov. Rick Perry’s recent assertion that George W. Bush was never a fiscal conservative. His comments were captured — of course — on YouTube. The real problem, of course, is that he was speaking absolute truth.